Morenci city council 2012.02.01

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council members voted Jan. 23 to terminate the city’s lease on the EMS building at the corner of W. Coomer Street and Sims Highway, but they held off on accepting the former hospital land.

ProMedica Health System is turning over ownership of the EMS building to the city. The property includes the former Morenci Area Hospital clinic building along with the newer ambulance garage and training room.

Morenci police chief Larry Weeks, who serves as the EMS coordinator, told council that repairs and maintenance work is needed at the facility and noted that some of the work could be quite expensive.

Council tabled a decision to accept the seven-acre property where the former hospital was located. That issue will be discussed at the next meeting.

Building inspector Kevin Arquette found that the demolition site still has some holes to fill in and some areas to be leveled. Some debris also remains.

Council is asking ProMedica to address those concerns before the city assumes ownership, said city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder.

Weeks asked if the hospital land will be parceled and he stated the need to have a clear delineation of the property lines regarding the EMS facility.

Mayor Keith Pennington said he doesn’t expect that the land would be divided into parcels unless someone expresses an interest in buying the land from the city.

WINDOWS—Councilor Jeff Bell pointed out state requirements governing window replacement. The regulations address required energy efficiency standards.

LIBRARY—Susan Bach was hired as a new library assistant to replace Janell Thomas. Bach is currently working toward a master’s degree in library science and has experience as a literacy tutor and an adult education teacher.

LAGOONS—Council approved spending $1,800 for testing equipment to be used at the three sewage lagoons to meet state requirements for testing the levels of pH and dissolved oxygen.

MOWER—Council approved repairs to the cemetery lawn mower, expected to cost $1,400. A new mower would cost about $10,000.

FIREWORKS—Councilor Tracy Schell reported that further discussion is needed regarding fireworks regulations now that the state government allows the sale of fireworks.

Chief Weeks said that council should consider whether it wants large quantities of fireworks to be stored for sale in the downtown or in residences.

The city’s existing ordinance forbids the sale and use of fireworks.

AMBULANCE—Weeks expects delivery of the new ambulance in mid-February. The bulk of the cost was paid through a federal grant.

ROAD REPAIR—Council discussed a proposal to work with the county in rebuilding the city’s portion of Weston Road, from the city limits to Main Street.

The county is slated to work on Weston Road, Pennington said, and Morenci’s portion could be upgraded to a Class A road. The city’s portion is deteriorating.

Schell agreed that it’s a very worthwhile project, but payment for the work needs to be made in the next fiscal year.

PULBIC SAFETY—Schroeder noted that a meeting is scheduled in Adrian Thursday evening to discuss a proposed county-wide millage for public safety.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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